Pursuit’s picture window.
By Alan Wendt
Cruising along the St. Clair River just north of Detroit, I’m in awe of the estate homes and their megalithic picture windows.
Photos Courtesy of Pursuit
A parade of Great Lakes freighters, gleaming yachts and the procession of dayboats is a relaxing reward passed along generation to generation. This image is precisely what popped into mind as we boarded Pursuit’s magnificent new flagship, the Offshore 445 (OS 445).
Eyes immediately focus forward to a single-piece, 11-foot-wide laminated windshield. Breathtaking, offering unobstructed views, this is an architectural achievement for a curved, framed windshield. Pursuit uses several such treatments throughout this new boat to welcome in natural lighting, while seamlessly supporting a bridge enclosure that envelopes the helm and most of the upper living space in a fully air-conditioned environment. Missing from view are the traditional welded pipes that so often support a hardtop.
As a flagship, the OS 445 is a collection of customer-driven focus group features and, not surprisingly, existing Pursuit owners make up the majority of booked orders for the next couple of years. As the model pronoun suggests, OS is built for more than a day of fishing offshore. Below decks are well-laid-out staterooms for overnighting and extended cruising.
The primary stateroom is built around an oversized island berth with a hybrid memory foam/innerspring mattress. Features like wood-lined his and her hanging lockers, matching under-berth slide-out drawers and a dedicated area for applying makeup check every box of an experienced cruising couple. Extra storage is found inside the island support, including storage room for up to four rods. And at the cost of competitive fishing tackle, that really is like stuffing money in the mattress.
Both the main and guest stateroom have individual flat-screen TVs. The guest quarters are configured to remove the stigma of having to crawl into a berth beneath a deck; an abundance of headroom allows for dressing and moving about. The shower, head and sink vanity are to port and are easily shared by two people at once. A private door to the owner’s stateroom offers a modicum of modesty, but as lifelong boaters know, after the first 24 hours aboard, we all dispense with formalities.
What I did find useful was a hinged stairway that lifts, revealing a cavernous storage area in unused space aft of the staterooms. Pursuit pointed out this is an excellent area to store cases of water, additional gear or maybe even a spare set of props.
To your taste
Those props attach to a triple array of Yamaha’s beastly 425-hp V8 XTO Offshore outboards. With a 600-gallon fuel tank, range at cruise is around 350 statute miles with a cruise speed at 30.4 mph. At the helm, joystick control makes docking easy. Standard electronics include two whopping 22-inch Garmin MFDs connected to a 1000W CHIRP Transducer. Hull No. 1 was equipped with an onboard rear-facing camera, a FLIR thermal imaging camera, 4-foot open array radar and, of course, a read-out for every digital component onboard.
An area of major surprise and delight was an optional third flat-screen multifunctional device recessed in front of the co-pilot’s companion seat on the port side. My wife and I like to share the helm time, but after a long day of running, stormy weather, or feeling your way back to port in a sudden fog bank, having the ability for a second set of eyes to pull up a chart and independently zoom in or out without affecting the skipper’s screen must be one of the best focus group ideas ever. If Pursuit added a second VHF here too, the odds increase for matrimonial bliss.
Behind the helm seats, the guest seating area and galley — complete with a two-burner stove, a microwave and a two-drawer refrigerator/freezer — create a perfect place to enjoy the ride or entertain at the dock.
Separating the bridge deck from the aft cockpit is a yacht-like stainless framed door and half window that raises up, creating one with the water. The aft deck is tricked out for fishing, with ubiquitous in-floor fishboxes, livewells, a dive door to port, a bait prep area and rod holders. Outriggers on the OS 445 fold inward and neatly store above the hardtop bridge, creating very clean sightlines. A retractable shade slides out to cover a good portion of the rear-facing seat or the bench seat that folds neatly out of the way into the transom.
Another Pursuit innovation is in the transom fishbox. Here, Dometic created a custom refrigeration unit with coolant coils circulating behind the fiberglass finish. In all, there are three dedicated coolers onboard that can be adjusted to use as refrigerators or freezers.
Like most offshore boats today, the OS 445 includes a Seakeeper to smooth out the ride.
For those looking to catch rays not fish, a dual, built-in sunpad lounger is found on the forward deck. Further forward is a built-in bench seat for two, creating a third entertainment zone aboard. And for those who want to dip their toes in the water, the starboard side electro-hydraulic hullside beach platform is a great place to relax.
Performance? We had a flat day, at times washboard-style chop for testing. With the rear door and window open, the triple engines can be quite loud. Seal everything up and decibels drop dramatically, and smiles return to everyone’s face. Turns were solid; you did feel the chop when crossing wakes, but with the Zipwake dynamic trim control system, I can’t imagine anything but a full-blown storm ruining the ride.
This model will surely appeal to experienced boaters whose time on the water includes fishing; however, Pursuit expects the newest generation of boaters, those 45 and younger, are going to spend more time overnighting, vacationing aboard and possibly weekending with another couple. Not a seismic change on the buyer needle, but certainly one of the emerging social changes brought about by the pandemic.
Hinged stairway that lifts for extra storage.
Cup holder arrangement needs tweaking.
- LOA: 46’6″
- Beam: 13’10”
- Draft: 2’6″ / 3’5″
- Weight (w/ 3 x F425 engines): 28,375 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 600 gals.
- Water Capacity: 100 gals.
- Max Power: 1,275 hp
- Price: Contact dealer
- Website: pursuitboats.com